Client: Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment – Water Development Department
The project concerns a diversion – recharge dam, earthen type with a gabion spillway of 6m height and capacity of about 225.000 m3. The construction of the proposed dam aims 1) to the recharge of the downstream aquifer, 2) to meet the irrigation needs of the villages in the area and 3) to flood control.
The proposed dam is located in the valley of Diarizos River, in Paphos. This area has been included in the Natura 2000 Network, designated both as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and as a Site of Community Importance (SCI).
The objective of this project was the Appropriate Assessment for the proposed Dam – based on the provisions of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EC – to evaluate whether the proposed dam is likely to have significant negative impacts on the important habitats and species of the Natura 2000 (SCI & SPA) area.
The area is important for many birds’ species that are feeding, breeding and nesting there and also includes a priority habitat 6220 – Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals.
The tasks that were successfully completed and the services that were provided were:
- Screening – Preliminary Identification of the likely significant impacts of the project on the Natura site, also in combination with other projects and activities in the area (wind farm, existing dam upstream, road network, animal husbandry activities)
- Detailed description of the project and identification of all the elements that have the potential for significantly affecting the site
- Extensive field work to record bird species in the area and also to accurately map the habitats that might be affected by the proposed dam
- Detailed evaluation of the significant impacts of the project on the important characteristics of the Natura site
- Assessment of mitigation measures against the impacts identified
- Examination of alternative ways of achieving the project objectives that avoid any significant impacts on the Site
- Analysis of the objectives of the project in order to address the issues of “imperative reasons of overriding public interest” and “human health or safety considerations or important environmental benefits” that can derive from the proposed project
- Presentation of the results to the Environmental Authority